Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Sheds

It's all over for another year. School finished on the 10th of December with our Nicholas getting the award for academic excellence in Year 4. We are so proud of him and really pleased with how well he did.
When school finished we were lucky enough to spend a week at the Central Coast relaxing on the beach and hanging out together. We stayed in a Holiday Rental, 2 bedroom Cottage just four houses from the beach, just lovely. The house was pet friendly so we took Boss, took our bikes and all the beach gear. Quite amazing how much you can fit into a little hatchback when you try. We highly recommend the house we stayed in, we found it via the Take a Break website and it is called the Umina Beach House.
Last day at the beach house, enjoying the front porch
Boss is learning to pay attention, particularly when you have food
Back home and it was time to get back to work. We decided to build some sheds. This is where the proposed new shed site was left off. So far we had roughly levelled the area with the Dingo (digger) when we hired it for the weekend (mid November).
The existing shed was old and rusted so it will get pulled down and we will put up two new ones. The plan was to lay a paved area next to the existing concrete slab that will house the second shed so we would have two alongside each other.
In order to keep the cost down and given that one shed would be for bikes, skateboards and generally storage for kids stuff we decided to pave the area with offcuts of granite pavers I bought on EBay for $54. The pavers were 50mm in depth so we were pretty sure that the area would be sturdy enough.
Once we finished levelling the area as best as we could (or had patience for, I admit that levelling is such a horrible time consuming job) we then lay some weed mat down in order to reduce the likelihood of bits of greenery growing between our pavers.
Then one by one we laid out our pavers, given that they were offcuts they were all odd shapes and sizes so it was abit like a big (and heavy) jigsaw puzzle. This is about the time we started questioning our decision, we weren't quite sure that our paving was going to work. The whole process seemed very unscientific, we would place a paver in place and if it wobbled one of us would hold up the corner while the other one either shovelled more dirt on or removed dirt as required. We would then put the paver down and jump on it until it stayed it place.
After all the pavers were in place we shovelled in some blue metal road base and swept that into all of the cracks. On top of that we scattered some cement and hosed it all in, prayed and then waited to see if it worked.
While we waited for the cement to dry we started to dismantle the existing shed. Why is it that when you seem to progressing at a good rate and you actually start thinking that you may actually get a job finished in a day you hit a snag? It seems that our existing shed was concreted in and wouldn't budge. Out came the power tools and my WH used the angle grinder to cut the shed away. Of course this meant that we needed to make a trip to Bunnings and purchase more grinding discs and before the job was finished a new angle grinder (guess what WH got for an early Christmas gift).
This is where Day 1 of the new shed project finished. Half an old shed, a drying paved area and a big mess all over the lawn.
Day two: we managed to pull the rest of the shed down and then had to leave our yard in a mess due to work commitments and then while we celebrated Christmas over the next few days with both of our families.
We had a great time and my favourite gift was from my WH. He had remembered my admiring an Eiffel Tower in a gift shop months ago and then in a catalogue a few weeks later.

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